Spyware Frightens 9 Out Of 10 Net Users

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Results of a recent survey on Internet usage finds that 91 percent of respondents have changed the way they browse because of spyware.

The prevalence of spyware has so widely impacted Net users that nearly everyone online has had to adjust the way they surf the Web.

Spyware Frightens 9 Out Of 10 Net Users

A survey reported on by the Pew Internet and American Life Project of Washington, DC says 91 percent of users have made at least one change to their browsing habits out of spyware concerns.

The responses of 2,001 adults and 1,336 interviews finds that 81 percent of them won’t open e-mail attachments unless they know the documents are safe. And in an encouraging statistic for the motion picture and movie industries, 25 percent said they have stopped downloading films or songs due to the threat of unwanted software accompanying them.

Spyware Frightens 9 Out Of 10 Net Users

Even though broadband access does make a difference in the amount of site visits and downloads a user makes, the survey found that specific actions by users have a greater chance of bringing in an unwanted spyware guest: downloading computer programs, playing online games, and file sharing were the top three actions in this list.

Adware companies will discover that users find their practice of “clear notice and choice” in presenting end user license agreements unacceptable. 83 percent of respondents said those companies do not do enough to let customers know about the presence of spyware in items they download.

Not very many have changed their web browsers to one they perceive as more secure. Only 18 percent of those respondents have switched browsers. It appears most users have altered their browsing habits rather than their software.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Spyware Frightens 9 Out Of 10 Net Users
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